Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920
Film and radio, television, and computers have each been heralded by reformers as a way to revolutionize classroom instruction by increasing productivity. "The promises implied in these aids caught educators' attention: individualized instruction, relief from tedium of repetitive activities, and presentation of content beyond what was available to a classroom teacher." How have teachers responded to the promise of improvement?
To answer this question, Larry Cuban has gathered evidence from many diverse sources, constructing a history of technology and education that reveals hidden or ignored patterns in the teacher-machine courtship. He traces cycles of acceptance and denial; the enthusiasm of reformers; the initial optimism of the educational community; the hesitancy, doubts, and frustrations of teachers; and the very slow and limited acceptance of the new technology. He also asks, Why have so few teachers used machines? His answers, drawing from a range of disciplines, will prod readers into viewing the current passion for classroom computers in a different light. This now classic text provides a much-needed perspective on technology in the classroom.